Post Fire Landscaping: What do we do now?


What do we do now? 

I am starting to get a lot of question about everything from whether or not to eat home-grown produce and if burnt trees should be cut down. 

STOP! Take a deep breath, and put the chainsaw away.  We won't know until Spring if a tree is truly gone or just sent into an early dormancy. 

Even if your property was only touched by smoke; here are a few things you can do to help your landscape recover:

1) Remember a lot of the ash is toxic, wear your mask when sweeping or blowing patios and decks. **

2) Wash the ash off of plant leaves, it reduces their ability to photosynthesize.

3) Let the rains water for you, excessive watering of the burnt ground is harmful to the soil.

4) Hold off on fertilizing any damaged plants, they need to rest.

5) Plant a cover crop, Sonoma Mission Garden Nursery and Baker Creek Seed Bank are good sources. This helps rebuild soil structure and hold the top layer in place as the rains come.

6) Create a  defensible space around your house, clearing away overhanging branches and deadwood.

7) Regular fall tasks such as cleaning up fallen leaves and branches, pruning and spreading compost.

8) Watch for the wildflowers this Spring, post-fire blooms are extraordinary.

9) Wash produce with vegetable soap or diluted dish soap to clean off any residue. If in doubt throw it away or compost.

10) Share with our wildlife, add some extra bird food to the feeder, they are going to be hungry.


We have come together strong as a community, let's continue to support each other in the rebuilding process. 

To help you, I am donating my time in the coming months. Let me guide you through the uncertainty and overwhelm of where to begin. I will answer questions and walk you through the process, waiving my usual fee for an initial on-site consultation.

You can also send me photographs and any questions. Click below for your preferred method of communication!

The love in the air is thicker than the smoke! #SonomaStrong

** Follow all safety protocols and fire department guidelines. Wear protective clothing, footwear, gloves, and masks in burnt areas. Talk to your insurance provider before doing any repairs, they may cover the damages. Stay Safe! 


How to Manage a Landscape After Fire. (2017, July 24). Retrieved October 26, 2017, from

What to Do After Fires. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2017, from

A Guide to Soil Quality Monitoring for Long-Term Ecosystem Sustainability on Northern Region National Forests. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2017, from

Zavala, L., Celis, R. D., & Jordán, A. (n.d.). How wildfires affect soil properties. A brief review. Retrieved October 26, 2017, from